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Tennessee State To Become First HBCU With Ice Hockey

Tennessee State will announce it will introduce the first HBCU ice hockey program at Bridgestone Arena.
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Tennessee State University will be the first HBCU to establish an ice hockey program, according to ESPN's Ryan S. Clark.   The announcement of this historical sports program will be held at Bridgestone Arena on June 28.

"Tennessee State University, in partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL), National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA), and the Nashville Predators, invites members of the media to a press conference at Bridgestone Arena to announce a significant milestone: TSU's groundbreaking initiative as the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to introduce ice hockey at the collegiate level."

The Tigers are poised to make collegiate history, as evidenced by a tweet circulating on social media:

In May 2021, the program announced it would conduct a conduct a feasibility study to determine if it could establish varsity men's and women's hockey teams at Tennessee State.  

"The idea of establishing a collegiate hockey program at TSU is a tremendous opportunity as the nation's first HBCU to take on this endeavor," TSU President Glenda Glover said in 2021. "This allows us to expand the sport, increase diversity, and introduce a new fan base." 

A new demographic benefits the NHL's Nashville Predators in TSU's backyard.    A partnership between the two entities has resulted in Black History Nights to scholarship events.  

There's also P.K. Subban, a Black hockey player who spent three years in Nashville and served as an inspiration for the NHL, which has very few minority players.

Since 2017, the league and its players' association have sponsored studies to help schools establish varsity teams.